Dying to Stay Alive: A Ketamine Disaster

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I have no idea how I have survived nearly two decades of brutal suffering at the hands of severe type 1 bipolar disorder.

I spent months, even years sometimes, ‘dying to stay alive’, in bed, desperately trying to resist my suicidal thoughts and intentions with the curtains firmly closed; achieving nothing, going nowhere, and seeing no one.

But against all odds, I have not only survived this horrific ordeal, but I’ve stabilised, reached remission, recovered, and reclaimed my life; quite how I’ve managed to do this is so astounding (even to me) that I am now determined to share my story as widely as possible, in an attempt to help and educate others.

February 2022: Finally riding at home again.

I’m essentially ‘back from the dead’ and now I’m writing, reading, riding, walking, swimming, and socialising—things I once thought I would never be able to do ever again, and now I want everyone else to be able to achieve this transformation too.

Throughout the twenty years of this nightmare ordeal, I have been medicated, time and again, with a myriad of different treatments and therapies, yet not one of them has worked in even the slightest way. In fact, all that the traditional psychiatric drugs did was make my condition so much worse!

This has all meant that I have been fighting so much more than just the vicious onslaught of episodes, because I’ve had the side effects of the drugs, the withdrawal problems when they failed me, and the disappointments and failures to contend with too—a hideous situation, and a potentially very dangerous one too.

The initially prescribed antidepressants such as citalopram, fluoxetine, and sertraline induced such panic and fear that I was left constantly on a knife-edge, sweating and trembling, and having to endure crippling bouts of increased agitation, mixed with heightened swirls of terrifying anxiety.

I now recognise that I was experiencing a ‘mixed affective state’ as a direct result of the antidepressants, where I was suffering from depressed and manic features at the same time!

It was at this juncture where I believe my bipolar disorder was first created, yet all of these obvious symptoms went undiagnosed, because the extent of the care I received was so cursory, lacking, and, quite frankly, grossly negligent and substandard.

In those early episodes, I would like awake all-night-long with crippling insomnia, dreading the start of a new day, paralysed by the fear of having to get through another day of ‘faking it’ as a competent and successful international event rider.

Mood stabilisers such as lithium and sodium valproate were introduced, which again did nothing to alleviate my depression yet added only more complications and side effects. At one point I developed a particularly distressing and itchy bout of hives which broke out in their thousands all over my back. I remember thinking “I already want to kill myself and now I’m sweaty and spotty—I really don’t think I can take any more than this—Please God let me die!”

By this point I’d pretty much decided to either kill myself or find a way on my own, so for a while I tried to manage my illness without medication, but when my depression returned with a vengeance in 2017, I found myself desperate again, and (unfortunately, as it turns out), I made the fateful decision to return to the NHS medical profession for help and guidance.

With Princess Anne after winning the novice national championships at Gatcombe 2002, before disaster struck.

By this point I had been forced to relinquish my Olympic dream of representing Great Britain in the sport of three-day eventing and had decided that studying psychology at university might bring a change of focus, some answers, and that I’d be able to carve-out a new career and a fresh outlook. Unfortunately, this dream would be ripped away from me too.

The combination of subthreshold depression, exam pressures, and the general verbosity of the subject itself dragged me down to the point of desperation once more, so when a friend alerted me to the fact that they were using ketamine to treat resistant cases in Oxford, I immediately applied for an assessment.

This would prove to be a near-fatal decision because the treatment, which was being hailed as a ‘miracle cure’, backfired so spectacularly that it very nearly cost me my life.

Ketamine Infusions

Having sobbed my way through the entire assessment, I was duly accepted for treatment with ketamine, which was to be administered intravenously, once a week, over the course of the following three weeks.

The first infusion took me on a frightening psychedelic trip but did absolutely nothing to alleviate my depression. By the time I went back for the second treatment I was in mental agony with almost catatonic depression, and I sat on the waiting room floor crying in pain and desperation.

The psychiatrist first told me off for openly expressing my suicidal thoughts, then threatened to ban me from the clinic after I collapsed on the floor in crisis. The extent of the support was abysmal, and it horrifies me that some of the most vulnerable people in society are being subjected to such an appalling lack of basic care, empathy, and common courtesy and consideration.

The second infusion was equally as hideous as the first and I went home to bed and collapsed in pain and suffering as usual.

Over the next four days my sleep pattern went from 17 hours a day with ‘simple’ depression, to the absolute opposite end of the spectrum where I experienced complete mental disruption, getting absolutely no rest at all, let alone anything resembling relaxation and sleep.

I was now terrified that mania was on its way to me because I knew the pattern from previous episodes, but there was no follow-up between appointments, so I wasn’t able to express my concern with a professional. Repeated attempts proved fruitless, and the response to my urgent email was an auto ‘out of office’ reply which left me in panic and fear with an ever-growing feeling of desperation and anxiety.

Eventually, after much persistence, I did get hold of a healthcare assistant whose advice was to take a herbal sleeping pill!

For what happened next, I hold the clinic entirely responsible.

I was now well on my way to mania, yet the chance to help me was well and truly gone because I was spiralling out of control and unable to form a balanced perspective on my own condition.

By the time of the next appointment, I was in a full-blown manic episode, flying around at a million miles an hour, believing that I was some kind of biblical prophet or disciple, blessing people with holy water, and rambling and pontificating about philosophical and psychological dilemmas like Cartesian dualism and the mind-brain problem.

I was sectioned and incarcerated on a chaotic psychiatric ward for the next three months.

Ketamine had propelled me from the depths of despair to unbridled euphoria in the space of two weeks, but I was now in an even worse situation than before.

During this traumatic admission, I was overpowered and bulldozed in a corridor twice and forcibly injected with sedatives and antipsychotics. All of this could have been avoided if only I’d had access to support, emergency contact, follow-up, and earlier medical intervention. It terrifies me that this could potentially happen to someone else because I know that what I’ve experienced as a result isn’t really survivable.

I was placed under the care of a completely different psychiatrist who had absolutely nothing to do with the ketamine treatment and I spent the whole summer trying to explain what had happened, yet being consistently misunderstood and discredited, with every action being interpreted as symptomatic of mania and madness.

Support in hospital in the form of therapy or counselling was non-existent. In fact, the care was so appalling that when I realised that I would be receiving no beneficial input from the staff, I resorted to putting my earphones in, blocking out the pandemonium, and talking to no one!

I tried to refuse antipsychotics because I knew that they’d cause me more problems and complications, (I was right and haven’t needed any of them since) but my pleas went unheard, and they were forcibly and traumatically administered by injection instead.

When I was finally discharged, my mood dropped from ‘stable’ (in reality, emotionally scarred and traumatised) to suicidal in a matter of about a month and I spent the next 18 months in a catatonic depression, barely leaving my room, let alone the house, constantly having to resist the suicidal thoughts that dominated my every waking moment.

During 2018, I went back to the ketamine doctor and (believing that I had no other option) underwent nearly a whole year of treatment with oral ketamine, which was not only revolting but completely ineffective.

Even at higher doses where I would experience a horrific ‘k hole’ (where I was completely detached from every human concept), my depression did not lift in even the slightest way.

All the other patients that were undergoing treatment alongside me reported no benefit from ketamine either, and we would return week-in, week-out totally demoralised, and in suicidal crisis despite our continuous trips for more downing of the revolting horse tranquilizer at the hospital.

I eventually gave up with ketamine completely, even though I was still in suicidal crisis and desperate for medical intervention, but having had my condition so much worsened, I vowed never to go back to the NHS for mental health care ever again.

The Path to Recovery

By this point, I had virtually given up all hope of survival when, in early 2019, a friend contacted me and begged me to make an appointment to see her private doctor, at the very least just for an assessment. I took a deep breath and decided that before I made the decision to permanently end things, I would give this one last try.

I first went to see Dr Andy Zamar, at the London Psychiatry Centre on Harley Street, at the end of March 2019. I knew that I didn’t have the strength to divulge the horrific truth of the illness, so I wrote the full horror story down before I went.

He identified almost immediately that, as a result of everything that had happened, I was now rapid cycling between ‘simple depression’ (there’s nothing simple about it), ‘mixed state’ (manic negative thoughts), ‘agitated depression’ (where I felt deep inner unrest, my heart twinging constantly), and ‘depression with flight of ideas’ (negative ruminations, constantly returning to thoughts of hanging and suicide).

Dr Zamar took me extremely seriously and went on to question me extensively about my symptoms and experiences—something no other psychiatrist had ever done in twenty years.

I walked out of the appointment feeling more educated about my condition and, more importantly, HEARD—My feelings were valid, and the seriousness of my situation had been finally appreciated.

After the appointment, I said to Mum:

“This man will be enough to save me because he understands.”

There were no deliberations, waitlists, or delays and I started a combined treatment with high dose levothyroxine and rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) with immediate effect.

The progression to full remission was steady and took longer than usual because of the damage caused by the failed treatments, but within the space of a few months, things started to become easier.

Eight months of treatment with rTMS and a titration up to 800 mcg of levothyroxine has restored my brain to its original equilibrium, which, after the obliteration of virtually every neurotransmitter and chemical is, quite frankly, a miraculous achievement!

The journey to remission has taken much persistence, patience, resilience, and determination, combined with a huge amount of introspection and self-analysis. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to work through the trauma, reconcile with the past and fully move on with my life. This has not been easy at all and has been made even more complicated by the forced antipsychotics which I have only just managed to withdraw from—something I write extensively about on my blog.

I am now very proud, as well as extremely relieved, to say that I am finally back to the authentic version of myself; I don’t doubt my brain, I don’t have to fight to get out of bed in the morning, and I’m relaxed and happy with life.

I believe the route to full mental wellness is a combination of many, many things which this novel treatment has given me the foundation to work from. I now enjoy exercising, looking after myself through attending to my diet, and have been more than happy to cut out all of the unhelpful ‘crutches’ like nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.

This experience has changed me profoundly and nothing now matters except staying well and helping others to survive and recover.

Somehow, between episodes, I managed to complete an NCTJ in journalism and am now finally using my qualification, over ten years later, to write and document all that I’ve learnt on this journey back to life.

I have detailed the whole story in a combined memoir and self-help book in order to warn others of the dangers of iatrogenic harm, as well as alert them to this ground-breaking approach to treating bipolar disorders. I am currently seeking literary representation for this, and in the meantime am sharing as much gratuitous information on my website as possible. This can be found at www.dyingtostayalive.com

Miraculously, I have now reclaimed my life and have qualified as an NLP practitioner (neuro-linguistic programming) offering support and guidance to fellow patients and sufferers. I hope, very much, to be able to spread a huge amount of hope and understanding around bipolar and many other mental illnesses and disorders.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch should you need help, guidance or support or if you wish to know any other details of this story.

Thank you for reading.

***

Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.

23 COMMENTS

  1. “I now recognise that I was experiencing a ‘mixed affective state’ as a direct result of the antidepressants, where I was suffering from depressed and manic features at the same time!

    It was at this juncture where I believe my bipolar disorder was first created, yet all of these obvious symptoms went undiagnosed, because the extent of the care I received was so cursory, lacking, and, quite frankly, grossly negligent and substandard.”

    If I read and understand correctly, the narrator feels that psychiatric care caused him problems and one doctor used drugs and other therapies to solve those problems. And that the narrator feels better now, which is great.

    Breath. Exhalation. What a quandary.

    It muddies the terrain so much when some critics of psychiatry accept and others reject the DSM labels, especially when those who accept the labels also reject some of the drug therapies.

    So many jaggedy edges.

    We all want to be heard and believed, but if sympathetic ears have also read that no drug therapy has proven itself more effective than a placebo, even sympathetic ears may be inclined to doubt praise for a new drug therapy. I hope the narrator can understand.

    May your recover and remission hold.

  2. “I now recognise that I was experiencing a ‘mixed affective state’ as a direct result of the antidepressants, where I was suffering from depressed and manic features at the same time!

    It was at this juncture where I believe my bipolar disorder was first created, …” Yes, a lot of us here dealt with the malpractice of misdiagnosis of the common adverse and withdrawal symptoms of the antidepressants as “bipolar.”

    And just an FYI, the antipsychotics can create “psychosis” via anticholinergic toxidrome, so it’s good you were able to largely avoid them.

    For me, withdrawal from drugs that made me sick was what helped me overcome the malpractice with which I’d dealt. But hey, since you bought into the Kool-Aid, and found some other “mental health” industry panacea … well, whatever, glad you survived.

    And I’m sure those profiteering off of the “cure” you’re promoting will be willing to pay you big bucks to promote your healing journey.

  3. “I now recognise that I was experiencing a ‘mixed affective state’ as a direct result of the antidepressants, where I was suffering from depressed and manic features at the same time!

    It was at this juncture where I believe my bipolar disorder was first created, …” Yes, a lot of us here dealt with the malpractice of misdiagnosis of the common adverse and withdrawal symptoms of the antidepressants as “bipolar.”

    And just an FYI, the antipsychotics can create “psychosis” via anticholinergic toxidrome, so it’s good you were able to largely avoid them.

    For me, withdrawal from drugs that made me sick was what helped me overcome the malpractice with which I’d dealt. But hey, since you bought into the Kool-Aid, and found some other “mental health” industry panacea … well, whatever, glad you survived.

    And I’m sure those profiteering off of the “cure” you’re promoting will be willing to pay you big bucks to promote your healing journey.

  4. This ‘treatment’ in the hands of private psychiatry is not proven and you would be wise to research this more thoroughly

    – ketamine has never been trialled for long term use so taking it for 1 year it is worrying this goes on in the private scetor

    – TMS, perhaps safer, is an entire pseudoscience in itself

    – high dose thyroxine is not really an evidence based treatment and not used in NHS (you are going to spend your life in an iatrogenic hyperthyroid state… Risky)

  5. I am glad you are feeling better but please be very careful how you tell this story. There is a risk others will think this magic doctor and magic treatment that solved it (which is hope I interpreted it as).

    I therefore would strongly advise however you at least take down the name of this professional. I do believe it is very inappropriate to name private doctors by name in a forum such as this.

    You may also cause harm to others by posting names and tablets as those who are in deep despair will try anything and they may not pick up all the other changes and things you’ve done to help your mental wellbeing.

    I would encourage you, and anyone one else who has been in this situation, to read cathy wield story and I believe she posted here. She even had brain surgery for depression after a seven years admissions on a ward which she said cured her instantly and I think wrote a book about it (therefore there is always a risk of this shortly after a new treatment and surgery is the ultimate of placebo effects).

    However after relapsing she changed her views and now is very critical of her care which was a biomedical and medication based horror story. I believe she wrote another book about it i hope that will be of interest.

    • No need to be very careful at all, A.M.. The First Amendment addresses those fears:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      So its your right to speak your truth and name your names. No harm in that either, particularly on a site called “Mad in AMERICA”. I say, more of it.

      Life is not a sheltered workshop.

  6. Thank you for this contribution, and your lived experience in becoming ‘sectioned’ is a familiar pattern all over the western world.

    Any diagnosis of a mental illness is a massive insult to the mental health of a person who does not in fact have a mental illness. It is the most violent and extreme form of psychological abuse, and you as a student of psychology should appreciate this. So should psychiatrists, yet they mostly do not. Mental illness should be a diagnosis of last resort.

    An important point also, is one you no doubt want to avoid placing too much emphasis on, but which is in fact absolutely relevant to the greater problem in involuntary psychiatry. It does seem that you already knew that Ketamine is a strong anaesthetic and most used in veterinary pain relief for large animals like horses. It is not a psychiatric drug, nor an analgesic. I recently took just 1 oral Ketamine for excruciating (10/10) kidney stone pain with positive effect. The pain vanished after 30 minutes and by the time I got to surgery a 4 days later the stone had already passed, which I attribute to the relaxing effect of the Ketamine.

    The UK medical practitioner who promoted the strong anesthetic Ketamine as able to help you with something that has nothing to do with pain or surgery should be made the subject of a complaint with a view to having that person stuck off. You need to get some free legal advice on how to file a formal complaint to the correct regulating authority, and have that person prosecuted. Even if nothing comes of it, a complaint should still be made.

    That said, I completely symapthise with your inexcusable subsequent experience, but the Ketamine factor was something under your control to refuse at any time, and you didn’t. The UN international human right to refuse ANY medical treatment is, today, your only protection against psychiatric (iatrogenic) abuse, and that right is not respected in Western psychiatric medicine. THIS is the problem we need all need to work together on to overcome.

    I am going to politely assert in your DEFENCE that you were already a prescription drug abuser of Ketamine by your own volition, albeit enabled by an unscrupulous/unethical medial practitioner. You were sectioned because of this drug abuse, not any psychiatric illness, and which is an all too common entry point for reckless abuse of involuntary psychiatric orders.

    Regardless of who is to blame for your prescription drug abuse, it does not alter one iota the abusive treatment you received IN ORDER TO MAKE YOU, and AFTER YOU BECAME, an involuntary patient. This in itself retraumatized you, a fact that sadistic (usually male) nurses in the locked wards happily play up to confirm the factitious (real) mental illness you just acquired from being sectioned that justifies their forcing the involuntary medication upon you.

    I hope the above can help you in some way to separate out the different traumas you have experienced and their different causes in your encounter with involuntary psychiatric abuse.

    Please be assured that you are not alone, and I too have been unlawfully treated involuntarily for a mental illness I did not have – for 10 years – because I was a already a traumatized victim of a separate criminal act (against me) of psychological abuse. This is another classic scenario. Victims of crime ending up in unlawful involuntary psychiatric treatment as a way of concealing the original crime. And it can cascade into third and forth or ongoing criminal acts to prevent the prior crimes from being discovered. That is my story.

    Because two crimes make a right. Right?

    Or so they think – the Judas priests who do this.

    • “Victims of crime ending up in unlawful involuntary psychiatric treatment as a way of concealing the original crime. And it can cascade into third and forth or ongoing criminal acts to prevent the prior crimes from being discovered.”

      And oh how easy it is when the State is enabling acts of torture to elicit ‘confessions’ of an ‘illness’ (via the corrupt practice of ‘verballing’ statutory declarations), and then uttering with the fraudulent documents produced to avoid the human rights legislation and protections of the law. In the meantime the victim can be subjected to ‘treatments’. And these are the same people who complained about Jamal Kashoggis ‘treatment’ at the hands of a team of ‘professionals’?

      And what a mess when you turn up in the Police Station with documented proof of the offending, but where they have no copy of the Criminal Code, and simply make a call to the criminals to come and pick you up on a s. 195 Police referral for your “hallucination” that you are protected by the law, and tell them to get the proof back and “edit” the legal narrative. All based on a lie told to police to allow their thug services to be procured in the commission of offences. Benefits all round when mental health services can be provided with a list of questions police want answered, but can not subject the ‘client’ to the brutality of physical assaults with electricity (well, not always, tazers being used whilst questioning is a practice that has been shown on television, the screams as a result of the use of electricity something which haunts torturers apparently. See Frantz Fanon, so make them loud people) and the likes of the ‘burning flesh’ (a ‘side effect’ of the chemical cocktails administered without consent. It is in fact the main effect desired, but without an admission of intent, you’ve got nothing)

      Imagine as a Community Nurse being able to call Police and “request assistance” with his/her “outpatient” (a known lie) and have police prepare your victim for interrogation (and a ‘verbal’) with treatment such as this?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ9UQKBUrsg

      This man was actually a ‘patient’ of course, but the State is allowing this to be done arbitrarily if the Community Nurse “suspects, on grounds he considers to be reasonable” (note the misrepresentation of the legal protection?). So the State can now have anyone snatched from their homes and subjected to this sort of treatment for a Community Nurse to ask a few questions. while police stand and listen of course. Noooo, not torture, it’s health care.

      Add to this the ‘spiking’ of the targets with date rape drugs (benzos combined with an ‘acute stress reaction’ the code for a request to torture where I live) and the later concealment with a fraudulent prescription making them their “Regular Medications” and the sky is the limit. Accountability when police simply refuse to take proof and find “insufficient evidence” of their own acts of torture and kidnappings?

      The ‘treatment’ you are about to receive something Police tell me “it might be best I don’t know about that” (the unintended negative outcome). This sort of criminal negligence in the failure to perform duty one of the reasons that child raping priests were enabled for more than 40 years. And then of course the Royal Commission not able to identify the way that ‘spotters’ [those whose role is to identify potential threats to institutions and inform their superiors, thus breaching their duty of confidentiality. “They will take their oaths as a cover”] were being used to sidetrack victims into mental health services for silencing? The inability to recognise the difference between a criminal offence (the sexual assault of a child) and a “character flaw” that required a ‘sabbatical’ something which would need talking about openly by the press……..but we don’t have a first amendment, nor a right to effective legal representation (lawyers even forging letters of response from authorities as a means to conceal human rights abuses for the State).

      The good news for me is that it does seem to be a free for all, and a ‘first strike policy’ would seem to be in order when the crap looks like hitting the fan. Get in quick, because it might be you laying in a cell dribbling from the mouth as a result of the ‘chemical restraint’ that was necessary due to your “potential for violence, with no clear intent or history” (is this not people being drugged for the paranoid delusions of the ‘doctor’?)

      • (I suspect you meant S159 not S195 of the WAMHA (AUS))

        The real culprit is the ability of Police to put the medical practitioner under pressure by referring a person for a medical examination under S26:

        S26. Referral for examination at authorised hospital or other place
        (1) A medical practitioner or authorised mental health practitioner may refer a person under subsection (2) or (3)(a) for an examination conducted by a psychiatrist if, having regard to the criteria specified in section 25, the practitioner reasonably suspects that —

        (a) the person is in need of an involuntary treatment order;

        So! THIS is the point where the “person” should be able to say “I assert my international human right to refuse this medical treatment.”, and it should be respected by allowing the person to be treated as if they did not have a medical condition for which they wanted treatment, or that they wanted to enter as legal pleadings of innocence by reason of insanity.

        To just round up people who the Police think have a mental illness and commence involuntary treatment in total denial of the international human right to refuse it, is a blatant violation of that human right.

        The criteria (in S25 below) is what a wholesale abuse of the right to refuse medical treatment looks like, and the only thing missing from it that would make it right is this:

        (4) The person has not asserted their right to refuse the medical treatment.

        …noting that this would necessarily negate (1)(c) below….

        MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2014 – SECT 25
        25 . Criteria for involuntary treatment order
        (1) A person is in need of an inpatient treatment order only if all of these criteria are satisfied —

        (a) that the person has a mental illness for which the person is in need of treatment;

        (b) that, because of the mental illness, there is —

        (i) a significant risk to the health or safety of the person or to the safety of another person; or

        (ii) a significant risk of serious harm to the person or to another person;

        (c) that the person does not demonstrate the capacity required by section 18 to make a treatment decision about the provision of the treatment to himself or herself;

        (d) that treatment in the community cannot reasonably be provided to the person;

        (e) that the person cannot be adequately provided with treatment in a way that would involve less restriction on the person’s freedom of choice and movement than making an inpatient treatment order.

        (2) A person is in need of a community treatment order only if all of these criteria are satisfied —

        (a) that the person has a mental illness for which the person is in need of treatment;

        (b) that, because of the mental illness, there is —

        (i) a significant risk to the health or safety of the person or to the safety of another person; or

        (ii) a significant risk of serious harm to the person or to another person; or

        (iii) a significant risk of the person suffering serious physical or mental deterioration;

        (c) that the person does not demonstrate the capacity required by section 18 to make a treatment decision about the provision of the treatment to himself or herself;

        (d) that treatment in the community can reasonably be provided to the person;

        (e) that the person cannot be adequately provided with treatment in a way that would involve less restriction on the person’s freedom of choice and movement than making a community treatment order.

        (3) A decision whether or not a person is in need of an inpatient treatment order or a community treatment order must be made having regard to the guidelines published under section 547(1)(a) for that purpose.

        Note for this Division:

        Part 21 Division 3 confers jurisdiction on the Mental Health Tribunal to conduct reviews relating to involuntary patients.

        • Hi sandgroper,

          “(I suspect you meant S159 not S195 of the WAMHA (AUS))”

          I was working with the old MHA (1995) s. 195, Division 2 Police Powers; Taking Mentally Ill Person into Protective Custody

          “To just round up people who the Police think have a mental illness and commence involuntary treatment in total denial of the international human right to refuse it, is a blatant violation of that human right.”

          Always glad to hear a confirmation that Australia is a wholesale abuser of human rights. But what can be done when to make a complaint means your family will be targeted, you life and career destroyed, and your brain damaged by ‘forced treatments’ which you may have a right to refuse, but which you will not be capable of asserting due to the boot smashing your face in for complaining? Might be best to just walk into the showers basically (as we have found with the use of ‘coercive methods’ during COVID. “You can refuse vaccination, but your life is going to become very difficult” To quote our Premier)

          “The criteria (in S25 below) is what a wholesale abuse of the right to refuse medical treatment looks like, and the only thing missing from it that would make it right is this:

          (4) The person has not asserted their right to refuse the medical treatment.”

          i’ve seen the workaround for this. For instance, I was taken to the locked ward, stupefied without my knowledge, and the Senior Medical Officer wanted to do an examination of me (so that he could extend my stay and provide the opportunity to ‘bait’ and then inject me with a chemical restraint). He knew he had no right to examine me, as I was not a “patient” and had not actually been referred by police, but simply kidnapped by them based on a lie by the Community Nurse. (Yes I understand his role in the criminal conspiracy now, authorising the ‘spiking’ of people by police before interrogations post hoc. Pretty hard to say no when they have already tortured the person right? And whose going to do anything about his fraudulent prescriptions which conceal acts of torture for Police?)

          Faced with this problem, he pretended to be a Consultant Psychiatrist and deceived me into speaking with him, until I expressly denied my consent for him to force me to remove my clothes and allow him to insert objects into my mouth or anus. At that point he started shaking, and then decided that as there was only the nurse as a witness, he would do it anyway.

          So the idea is to play a bluff, and see if the victim goes along with it. (see the similarity to date rapes? “spiked’ and then your inability to consent to the …. uheemmm ‘treatment’, is taken as consent) And once they do, they can then be locked up for a further period, providing plenty of time to have them injected with chemical restraints.

          Simply pretend you didn’t hear them assert their right to refuse treatment, and well, by the time they get out of the locked ward (if ever) they will certainly be in no state to ever make a complaint about their unlawful ‘treatment’. And the idea of the people at the Mental Health Law Centre providing them with effective legal representation? waaahahahhaha they are part of a system of human rights abuses, not a protection form them. the Venus Fly Trap. You will receive a forged letter from the Chief psychiatrist telling you that he has rewritten the Mental Health Act and removed the legal protections afforded the community, and that he is prepared to utter with a known fraudulent statutory declaration to enable arbitrary detentions of any citizens a medical professional (no longer a doctor even needed to diagnose a mental illness, a Community Nurse is now authorised to give a diagnosis to enable the ‘patient’ to be taken into custody) would like.

          I wonder what “reasonable grounds” police require to suspect that a person has a mental illness? Or is it as the forged letter i have states, the burden of proof has been changed to “grounds they consider to be reasonable”, rather than the “Criteria” set out in the Law?

          I note the criteria set out in the s. 25 you quote.

          “(1) A person is in need of an inpatient treatment order only if all of these criteria are satisfied —

          (a) that the person has a mental illness for which the person is in need of treatment;”

          This was the issue with me, I had no psychiatrist, and thus by definition of the old Act, I did NOT have a mental illness. The Community Nurse thought that by having police torture me I would confess to having a psychiatrist, and therefore meet the criteria for a s. 26 referral. How could I confess to something I didn’t have? So he simply made it up on the Forms, signed the ‘death warrant’ and had police kidnap me. His colleague at the hospital then called a clinic I had been to for a legal medico report, spoke to the person who had conspired to have me tortured (‘spiked’ with benzos, ‘acute stress reaction’) and kidnapped, and she released my confidential information to him from my file at the clinic. He then signed a fraudulent prescription making the drugs I had been ‘spiked’ with into my “Regular Medications”, thus concealing the torture of me by Community Nurse and the Police..

          All perfectly criminal but what right have you got about complaining your lipstick is being smudged when your being pack raped? I did everything within my power to ensure that I documented the abuses I was subjected to, but the doctor simply threw my written complaint about his misconduct in the bin, and signed the form for me to be injected with large amounts of anti psychotics to make me “very sick” (not my words, but those of an ‘expert’ in the field). And with the Mental Health Law Centre providing assistance with perverting the course of justice, no worries eh Doc?

          Apologies to those people who work in the filed who think they are ‘delousing’; people in the ‘showers’. I know, just doing your job right?

  7. Ho Tom,

    you write,

    “Eight months of treatment with rTMS and a titration up to 800 mcg of levothyroxine has restored my brain to its original equilibrium, which, after the obliteration of virtually every neurotransmitter and chemical is, quite frankly, a miraculous achievement!”

    A chemically balanced brain again huh?

    In fact, lets back up a para….

    “The progression to full remission was steady and took longer than usual because of the damage caused by the failed treatments”

    And the proof of this delay being caused by ……. damage caused by failed treatments is an anecdote? Or is there some sort of scan and blood test showing this is the case? You know, scientific proof?

    Seems to me your making attributions that may or may not be true.

    Funny but there was a band many years ago called the Tom Robinson Band who played a song called “Too good to be true”. James Hall wrote an article back in 2020 about the damage that can be caused by rTMS, which was published on this site.

    https://www.madinamerica.com/2020/04/tms-damaged-my-brain/#comment-195559

    Don’t want to burst that attribution bubble but ….,.maybe have a read and see what you think. James is a clever fellow who may like to discuss this success with you.

  8. I am so saddened by your story of the mental anguish and the disrespect, incompetency, stigma and demeaning that you received in from health care providers. I very much admire your ability to get through this dehumanizing and horrifying time and I don’t mean by this to any way diminish your thoughts of suicide due to the agonizing effects of depression, mania a and from the disappointment and betrayal of the professionals from who you sought help. I have recently had a horrible experience with
    1. my “treating” psychiatrist who used a one time event where I took several Xanax when I was in amnesiac and altered state from Ambient a day after a surgery,
    2. from another psychiatrist who administered ketamine one time and did not follow up and who was unbelievably dismissive and unconcerned with my frightening ketamine experience and physical symptoms the next day (high blood pressure & tremors),
    3. and from my long term internist, to whom I turned to for help and who used the authority of my psychiatrist to deem me unstable and refused to help me with debilitating insomnia during my divorce.
    These experiences definitely caused me to be less well and less able to function during my divorce which is known as an extremely aversive event for individuals.

    It is wonderful and inspiring that you are trying to use your experience and insight into guiding and supporting others that need the empowerment that you were denied during treatment. I am working on feeling empowered and seek out new health providers that will listen and treat me with respect and have good skills to treat me in a safe and therapeutic way. I am a former mental health provider (clinical social worker-have not worked for several years due to committing myself to caring for my kids and family) and have already thought about how I might work or volunteer to support those who feel helpless and stigmatized in the mental health care system and possibly just in mental health care system in general. You have inspired me to give that more thought after I recover from the trauma of my divorce and my frightening mental health experience.

  9. Docs have been scrambling to get me into Ketamine since last year’s suicide attempt but to no avail. I’m on disability. This and ECT are my last resort as I have tried over 70 medications, CBT, DBT and EMDR and none of them have given me back my ability to feel. Neurologist, endocrinologists, cardiologists ruled out other possibilities. There’s not much you can do about a brain injury with PTSD and treatment-resistant MDD. All I’ve got is Medicaid/Medicare. They don’t reimburse well, if at all. Everyone tells me to try Ketamine, completely dismissing the fact that I’ve been fighting to get in for almost 2 years, now. Not everyone has thousands of dollars just lying around. Not everyone has family or friends. I was a former child of the state. My “friends” abandoned me years ago after I got the injury. Besides, all of them were poor, too. None of them could have helped me.

    I’ve run out of time and fks to give about myself or anyone else. This once-loving happy person, musician, artist, writer, connected to sweet divine love is now a damned, soulless robot. I have reached the point where I don’t even know who I am anymore. This is someone else’s life. These are someone else’s residual opinions and views. I don’t even know who’s clothes hang in my closet. This is someone else’s body. I am nothing. I want to be nothing. Sentience, in itself, has become overwhelming. Ketamine could have at least bought me some time. Too bad I’m poor. Guess I’ll just go die, then. I no longer care who gets hurt. That was taken from me, too.

    I’ve already got a partial kit. I’ve promised to hold out until the end of the year but I’m not living a 3rd year unable to feel emotions and being so exhausted that I can’t even shower or eat. Not going back to the hospital. Got PTSD from being institutionalized for 7 years as a child. Last year I was sexually assaulted at that hospital. I will kill or die before I am captured and held against my will again.

    America will always prioritize money over people.

    I don’t care about anything or anyone, anymore. No one and nothing is worth this. I’ve been trying to feel for years now. Music is just noise. Nature is ugly. People look like wax monsters. Is all a nightmare. I want to scream but I can’t. I try but I can’t. I want to cry but I can’t. Why can’t I cry? I used to be able to cry so easily. I’ve been trying for a year to cry. Self harm does nothing. I feel nothing.

    If, by the end of the year, doctors have not given me something to feel emotions again, I will take my life. No more. Nothing anyone can say will convince me to stay here in this condition unless it is: “Ketamine clinics now accept Medicare”. If I don’t hear that by December, I’m dead. That’s it.

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